Monday, 22 August 2011

Haitian peasants inspire great new very scary GMO Film Project!!

Check out this great new and very scary GMO film project by Compeller Pictures inspired by the actions of Haitian peasant farmers against Monsanto.

GMO Film Project Sizzler from Compeller Pictures on Vimeo.

Today in the United States, by the simple act of feeding ourselves, we unwittingly participate in the largest experiment ever conducted on human beings. Massive agro-chemical companies like Monsanto (Agent Orange) and Dow (Napalm) are feeding us genetically-modified food, GMO’s, that have never been fully tested and aren't labeled. This small handful of corporations are tightening their grip on the world’s food supply—buying, modifying, and patenting seeds to ensure total control over everything we eat.

The GMO Film Project (Untitled) tells the story of a father’s discovery of GMO’s through the symbolic act of poor Haitian farmers burning seeds in defiance of Monsanto’s gift of 475 tons of hybrid corn and vegetable seeds to Haiti shortly after the devastating earthquake. After a journey to Haiti to learn why hungry farmers would burn seeds, the real awakening of what has happened to our food, what we are feeding our families, and what is at stake for the global food supply unfolds in a trip across the United States in search of answers.

Are we at a tipping point? Is it time to take back our food? The encroaching darkness of unknown health and environmental risks, seed take over, chemical toxins, and food monopoly meets with the light of a growing resistance of organic farmers, concerned citizens, and a burgeoning movement to take back what we have lost.

We still have time to heal the planet, feed the world, and live sustainably. But we have to start now.

A film by Compeller Pictures

Directed by Jeremy Seifert
Produced by Joshua Kunau
Co-Producer, Elizabeth Kucinich
Associate Producer, Timothy Vatterott
Cinematographer, Rod Hassler

Friday, 19 August 2011

Farmer to Farmer Talking Tour - Venezuela

There are 5 places only available on this unique farmer-to-farmer talking tour that has been specifically designed for Australian farmers interested in food sovereignty and natural farming practices.

The tour provides an incredible opportunity for Australian farmers to share their ideas and thinking about sustainable agriculture. Australian farmers will also learn about the amazing journey of Venezuelan farmers, now recognised as leading the world in achieving food sovereignty. 

Top 10 Terrific Tour experiences farmers will have! 

  1. Meeting small scale farmers who are supported by the government to farm chemical free; 
  2. Working with farming communities who recognise the possibilities of a farmer-led better world; 
  3. Eating, sleeping and living with the Venezuelan farmers on their farms and in their communities; 
  4. Getting Venezuelan dirt on your hands as you work side by side with Venezuelan farmers in their fields, on their rivers and with their animals; 
  5. Having your ideas and thinking valued and treasured by Venezuelan farmers and their communities;
  6. Being with a small group of like-minded farmers keen to share and learn together; 
  7. Seeing how government policy and farmer solidarity translates into real action to create an alternative food system without the influence from multi nationals and agribusinesses; 
  8. Appreciating the sharing qualities of the Venezuelan farmers who put the needs of others before their own; 
  9. Daily reflection and sharing facilitated by one of Australia’s leading agroecologists /soil scientists, Alan Broughton;
  10. Building authentic, global, farmer relationships and solidarity. 
Number of places: 5 ONLY 
Duration of tour: 17 days
Date of tour: 9 April to 25 April (in country)
Cost: $ 2,200
Price includes:  
All in country transportation, beginning and ending in Caracas
All accommodation – small hotel and farm stay (based on shared double room)
3 meals a day
Tour leaders and 3 bi-lingual translators
Preparatory reading materials
Facilitated information and review sessions
All programme activities

Not included in price:
International air flights
Travel and medical insurance
Departure taxes and excess baggage
Personal spending money
Alcoholic drinks

For bookings and more information contact:
Dianne James

There are 4 projects that will be the major focus of this Talking Tour. For more information go to: Food Sovereignty Venezuela

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Con La Soja al Cuello 2

Con la Soja al Cuello 2 (La ofensiva por la tierra 2011) from Radio Mundo Real on Vimeo.

De La Haciendo Punto En Otro Blog

Por la primera edición de este documental (2009) producido por REDES - Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay y la productora Interludio transcurrían varios casos de conflictos ambientales producidos por el avasallante crecimiento del agronegocio sojero, el que se suma al forestal ocupando entre ambos cerca de dos millones de hectáreas, una octava parte del total del territorio uruguayo.

Con la Soja al Cuello 2 es una actualización de esta problemática que combina su ampliación cuantitativa con otras consecuencias cualitativamente diferenciadas: tal es el caso de la “ofensiva por la tierra” o la dinámica del mercado de tierras y la consiguiente pérdida de soberanía que ha motivado la agricultura empresaria, más allá de los tímidos intentos oficiales por acotarlo.

Otro plano del análisis lo constituye una visión comparativa entre el aporte tributario de estas actividades al Estado uruguayo en relación a sus crecientes utilidades, lo cual a través de leyes de promoción y acuerdos de inversión con terceros países se ha revelado como prácticamente inexistente.

En ese sentido, Con la Soja al Cuello 2 recoge testimonios, sí, pero también el resultado de las investigaciones que sobre esta problemática han llevado adelante académicos y organizaciones de productores y ambientalistas.

Entre otros entrevistados para este documental figuran: el sociólogo Diego Piñeiro (UdelaR), el doctor Humberto Tomassino (UdelaR), el economista Jorge Notaro (Facultad de Ciencias Ecoonómicas, UdelaR), Jacinto de la Cuerda (Pit-Cnt), el ingeniero agrónomo Gustavo Pardo (Comisión Nacional de Fomento Rural).

Friday, 12 August 2011

Oral intervention by Muhammad Ikhwan of La Via Campesina at UN Human Rights Council

7th session of UN Human Rights Council Advisory Committee
8-12 August 2011
Right to food
Oral intervention by Muhammad Ikhwan of La Via Campesina, the International Peasant Movement
On behalf of Foodfirst International Action Network (FIAN)
Mr / Mrs President
FIAN International and La Via Campesina would like to commend the Advisory Committee for its preliminary study on the advancement of the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas. In the light of growing conflicts over land and water and the food price and climate crisis, there is an urgent need to step up efforts to effectively protect the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas.

We are witnessing a dramatic new wave in land grabbing. At least 50 million hectares of agricultural land have been transferred to corporations only in the last few years alone, and each day more investors are joining the rush.

Recently, the High Level Panel of Experts of the Committee on World Food Security has recently stated in its second report that large scale investment in land is damaging food security, incomes, livelihoods and the environment for local people.

The High Level Panel of Experts called on governments 1) to recognize the right to free, prior and informed consent in relation to the land and natural resources on which they depend for their livelihoods; 2) to secure the access and use of lands for peasants, pastoralists, forest dwellers, fisher folk and indigenous peoples; 3) to undertake redistributive land policies in settings marked by inequality in land control and ownership; and 4) to prioritize investment in the small farm sector and in alternative food systems that are socially inclusive and just as well as environmentally sustainable, using agro-ecological principles.

The report clearly supports the findings and recommendations of the preliminary study. An equitable access to food producing resources is vital for rural people—which will ensure the realization of the right to food. We strongly support the recommendations of the preliminary study to give more attention to genuine agrarian reforms and to recognize the right to land in international human rights law. Land cannot be left to the mercy of markets and speculators.

We are closely following the intergovernmental negotiations of the FAO Voluntary Guidelines on the Responsible Governance of Tenure of Land, Fisheries and Forests and believe that these guidelines could become a useful instrument if strongly rooted in international human rights law.

Nonetheless, during the negotiations in July there was a widespread hostility by States to recall their human rights obligations related to land, fisheries and forests. Fearing that the guidelines are creating new obligations or becoming too prescriptive, many governments are trying to weaken the language and the recommendations. This demonstrates that there is an urgent need for the UN human rights system to clarify the human rights aspects and the normative content of the rights to land and other natural resources.

Since 2009 La Via Campesina has been working on a campaign condemning violence against women. Peasant women are subjected to acute social and economic exclusion and oppression. We have decided to mobilize against this injustice. This is one important aspect of our struggle which has also been included in the study of the Advisory Committee.

The Advisory Committee should carry on with this study as mandated in the Human Rights Council resolution on the right to food. Peasants and other people working in rural areas continue to be among the first victims of hunger and human rights violations. Existing international human rights instruments are clearly insufficient to ensure the protection of their human rights.

We welcome the support of member states for the preliminary study and the further development of this important topic. Moreover, we would like to encourage the Advisory Committee to develop a draft declaration on the rights of peasants and other people working in rural areas which could be annexed in the final study.

The international community needs to be bold and act with due diligence to address the causes behind the worsening of the food crisis, and the fate of the small and medium food producers working in rural areas. This must be undertaken for the sake of our planet.

I thank you, Mr. /Mrs. President.

Source: La Via Campesina

Thursday, 11 August 2011

La Via Campesina launches new video

The international peasant's movement La Via Campesina is launching a new video presenting its struggle for peasant's agriculture and food sovereignty all around the world. 

Watch this 20 minutes film and show it to your neighbours, friends, community, local organization, in a cultural center, a film festival, a demonstration... You can organize a film screening followed by a discussion where you can invite local farmers, local authorities and anyone interested.
You can download the film here: (be patient if you have a slow connection!) Announce your film screening on their new forum, whatever the language. And post your comments or a report of the discussions here. For more information, please contact Boaventura Monjane

Wednesday, 10 August 2011

Jokkmokk Agreement - Indigenous people protecting food sovereignty

Sweden - 08 Aug 11
How can the invaluable knowledge and vision of food production of the world’s Indigenous peoples not only survive in modern times, but be appreciated as a solution to fix a broken global food system? This question brought together 50 food communities from around the world for Indigenous Terra Madre held in Jokkmokk, Sweden last month, the first ever Slow Food event dedicated entirely to their issues.

Three days of intense workshops and discussions brought up a wide range of issues shared among the 200 delegates from diverse homelands and cultures: climate change; surviving modern times and extreme conditions; how to promote local foods and food cultures; preservation of memory and traditional knowledge; land rights and so on. These were summarized on the last day in the Jokkmokk Agreement, which presents their collective voice and proposals for action.

Through its 12 statements, the agreement encourages Indigenous peoples to proactively pass-on and protect essential inherited knowledge; establish “food sovereignty areas” managed by Indigenous peoples and free from the influence of multinationals; and to create capacity-building programs and activities. The document also directly calls upon the United Nations to take action to maintain and strengthen Indigenous peoples’ food systems and promote and implement their rights.

“The idea of creating food sovereignty areas is new, but most of the issues have been raised before,” said Phrang Roy from the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity and Food Sovereignty, of which Slow Food is a part. “What we hope is that the agreement, and the relationships forged during the meeting, will help the various networks that participated together with Slow Food to be more effective in promoting Indigenous knowledge as essential to the concept of ecological agriculture. Food is culture, seeds are sacred and land is our life and identity. This must be recognized as we push towards a more sustainable lifestyle that is more sensitive to the overall well being and happiness of everyone.”

The Jokkmokk Agreement is now being introduced to wider networks through the Indigenous Partnership for Agrobiodiversity, the Sami Parliament, the International Indigenous Treaty Council and other indigenous groups represented at the meeting. The Indigenous Partnership will also be presenting the document to the 2012 Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues.

“We have many ideas,” said Phrang. “Following Jokkmokk, and with our united statement, we can now approach forthcoming global events such Rio+20, Terra Madre 2012 and the 2014 proposed UN High Level Meeting on Indigenous Issues. It is essential that more grassroots voices are heard in these meetings - as we heard at Jokkmokk.”

Indigenous Terra Madre delegates also decided to establish a permanent Terra Madre working group to continue to address these issues and represent Indigenous members of the Terra Madre network into the future. 
Download the agreement here.  Source:  Slow Food

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

First European Forum for Food Sovereignty - Austria, 16-21 August 2011

Farmers’ movements,  women’s and young people groups,  associations who are working for food sovereignty in Europe and in the world,  students, activists, ecologists, agricultural workers and landless youth, will gather to organize  an important  Forum on Food Sovereignty.
More than 600 participants are expected from all the European countries, inside and outside the EU.

The Nyeleni Forum in Austria is meant to act as a catalyst and pave the way for creating alternatives to the current unsustainable ways of agricultural production and consumption. The Forum will strengthen the movement for Food Sovereignty in Europe and contribute to bring closer to real democracy consumer rights and preservation of the environment for future generations

A new food and agricultural policy for Europe should be based on re-localizing agricultural production, supporting small producers and facilitating access to land for new farmers and collectives, while challenging the dominance of industry and private interests in the production, transformation and distribution of food for European citizens.

Europe has become integrated into an unsustainable global food system controlled by corporate interests and based on environmental degradation, the exploitation of resources of other peoples and social and economic inequality – facilitated through the impunity of transnational corporations and financial markets. The consequences of this model are visible everywhere in our food and agricultural systems and policies. It is time to change the framework of European agriculture.

Besides creating spaces for discussion and sharing experiences around core issues of food and agriculture, several transversal axes across themes will be organized, such as a women's day or specific spaces for youth participation. 


The Forum aims at strengthening, broadening and building a movement for Food Sovereignty in Europe by:

·       Reinforcing our common understanding of what Food Sovereignty means in Europe
·       Identifying common challenges and obstacles to Food Sovereignty in Europe
·       Constructing common strategies and a joint agenda for action to make Food Sovereignty a reality in Europe
·       Strengthening local actors/grass root initiatives for food sovereignty
·       Celebrating the struggle for food sovereignty already underway in Europe
·       Inspiring and motivating people and organizations to work together
·       Facilitating networking of food sovereignty initiatives across different sectors and countries

For more information:  Nyeleni European Food Sovereignty Forum

Monday, 8 August 2011

Honduran Police burn campesino community to the ground

Homes, churches, schools, and crops all destroyed as the post-coup government continues to side with wealthy plantation owners over the country's organized farmers.


Friday, 5 August 2011

Mokatil - a new peasant organisation in Timor Leste

Arsenio Pereira da Silva, Timor Leste youth representative with La Via Campesina, has shared with us the following Declaration by Mokatil, a new peasant organisation in Timor Leste.  The translation from the East Timor language to English is not perfect - but the sentiment is clear.

 Today, 28 July 2011, serves as an historical day for Timor Leste’s national peasants who are actively involved in farmers groups, fisherfolk, labourers working in rice fields and gardens, associations, creative arts, cooperatives, Permaculture, women and men’s farmer unions in the districts, rural youth from 13 districts, sub districts, villages and subvillages. We declare the establishment of our Timor Leste’s peasant movement “MOKATIL” from today and into the future.

MOKATIL takes a stand against the social, agricultural, economic and ecological injustices faced by peasants and an opinionated policy system that causes threats to peasants rights such as some of the peasants do not own land and water. Local seeds are threatened and thus declining, chemical residue has become a threat to soil destruction, local knowledge is declining, damaging the environment, and there is no fair trade in place to stand for peasant demand.  There is a strong dependency on imports and no law for peasants.  These things are caused by the creation of political systems and decisions here in this country as well as in other countries, and some international institutional political intervention such as IMF, World Bank, ADB, WTO with their allies.  It also caused from our government policy to adopt a green revolution system and policy that creates dependency on imports of unsustainable agricultural materials.

MOKATIL stands to fight in order to give all Timor Leste’s peasants dignity, social justice and economic stability for a prosperous and sustainable life for Timorese People, with it’s principle to defend a fair and sustainable local knowledge, social, economic and ecology with democratic, solidarity, collectivity, and humanitarian values.

MOKATIL has also established linkages and allies with other movement organisations in house and in other countries such as Regional and International La Via Campesina, Front Estudante Timor-Leste, FORAM ( Front Trabalhadores Maubere), FJTL (Front Juventude Timor-Leste) and others which have shared principles and values to give political pressure to Timor Leste’s Government and State in order to establish Agroecological systems and fair trade for Timor Leste’s peasants.

Declared by:   Representatives from 122 different groups in Timor – Leste.
Viva MOKATIL!!!!
Viva Camponezes Timor-Leste
 Dili, Timor – Leste, Farol 28th July 2011